Definition of bank
- a fog bank
- a bank of dark clouds
- We lived along the banks of the Mississippi River.
- climbed a steep bank up to the cabin
- The engineers hadn't given the road enough bank.
- The bomber crossed the target area in a sharp bank.
The literal meaning of Italian banca was “bench,” but the word was also used for the benchlike counter at which an early money changer transacted business, and later to describe the money changer’s shop itself—the bank. When the banking trade spread from Italy to France, and then to England, the Italian word went with it and became our English bank.
First Known Use: 1771See Words from the same year
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